Lazio pulled off the impossible in a packed Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, edging out a 1-0 win over Serie A leaders Napoli.
The Partenopei have been one of the most electric teams in Europe this season, easily flying to the top of the Serie A table and knockout stages of the Champions League, but were brought back down to Earth by a focused performance from Maurizio Sarri’s squad, whose inconsistency proves to be equal parts frustrating and borderline amusing.
In a stadium packed with 50,000 home fans, the odds were stacked against the visiting Lazio, but the team showed off their maturity and growth across the 90-minute clash with Napoli, not succumbing to the Partenopei’s pressure and holding firm defensively to see out their 1-0 win.
The difference maker was midfielder Matias Vecino, who produced a true moment of magic to put Lazio ahead. In the 67th minute of the match, a Khvicha Kvaratskhelia clearance fell to the Uruguayan midfielder, who lashed the ball from about 25 yards out straight into the bottom left corner of Alex Meret’s net, putting his team ahead.
Napoli refused to accept this reality and fought hard to try and secure an equaliser in the final 20 minutes of the match, coming close in the 79th minute, when a Victor Osimhen header ricocheted off the crossbar and fell to Kim Min-Jae, whose close range effort was saved by an agile Ivan Provedel.
Despite the pressure, Lazio held on and secured an important 1-0 win over Napoli, allowing them to briefly rise second in the league table.
The underlying numbers highlight the home side’s dominance on the pitch, completing 656 passes to Lazio’s 315 and taking 14 shots to the visitor’s five.